M Bennett, J Magani, S Yeardley
An unstoppable Steve Yeardley volley three minutes into injury time earned Bassett all three points against Banbury United Reserves.
Bassett got revenge after a 5-3 reverse earlier in the season despite losing two leads. However, Yeardley's strike did the job and in the process left Banbury manager John Prpa with egg on his face after he had earlier questioned his defending abilities and his constant displays of arrogance along the touchline.
Neither side were particularly impressive early on as the harder-than-concrete pitch led to numerous poor touches and balls over the top that ran out of play.
Jeremy Newton had two early chances for Bassett though but on both occasions saw his attempts fade away from the target.
After Tom Foley's long range half volley sailed just over, Neil Toterstall rose to meet Dan Szczukiewicz free kick from the left corner in the 29th minute and his header would have gone in had it not been for Andy Hallett finding himself in the right place at the right time as the defender deflected the ball wide.
Bassett drew first blood ten minutes before half time as Newton crossed from the left-hand by-line and an unmarked Matty Bennett volleyed home with ease from six yards. Steve Shaw's ball into the left corner had initiated what was an emphatic move from Bassett.
Four minutes later Bassett stood off Szczukiewicz and he broke through the defensive unit, opening up a great chance but his finish was poor and he struck over from 20 yards.
Four minutes before the break Bennett swung a testing ball in from the right and 'keeper Joe Murrell was only able to get a fingertip to the ball. Newton was racing in at the far post but had overrun the ball by a mere yard and was unable to hook the ball in from six yards.
A minute later the diminutive Lee Nix evaded challenges from Yeardley and Rich Gee before playing a neat through ball for Jacob Goddard who struck a low effort from the right corner of the box into the side netting.
The visitors did find the back of the net though five minutes after the restart, taking advantage of a slow start from Bassett. The defence stood of Szczukiewicz, allowing him to cut the ball back from the by-line and Alan Robinson headed home from close range.
Newton almost gave Bassett the lead again five minutes later as his half volley from 15-yards out after Bennett's cross rattled the post and went wide.
Toterstall then forced a save from Domm as his low effort troubled the Bassett 'keeper just after the hour. Domm's quick release allowed Bassett to break down the right through John Magani and his through ball put Bennett through on goal but the winger blazed over from close range. Paul Burke then made his first change, replacing Paul Crabtree with Chris Mills.
Bassett then survived a short, sustained period of pressure from Banbury. Goddard was twice presented with excellent chances after losing sight of his marker Newton. Firstly, on 63minutes, his low effort from the edge rolled just wide as Foley's crossfield ball deserved better.
Four minutes later he cut inside Newton to leave himself with only Domm to beat. He completely fluffed his effort though, side-footing the ball well wide from ten yards.
A minute later Magani put Bassett back ahead. Andy White played the ball out wide to Bennett who supplied a low ball across the box and Magani was first to the ball, tapping in first time from close range.
Mark King then replaced Steve Shaw before Bennett and Taterstall both fired just off target.
Foley equalised ten minutes from time. Substitute Jason Prpa whipped in a cross from the right which Taterstall headed with force at goal – after climbing all over Rich Gee – only for James Domm to parry away. Foley was first to the rebound though and easily struck home from ten yards. Gee was booked after protesting the legality of Taterstall's climb over him but the goal stood.
Taterstall found himself in the book three minutes later though after a late challenge. He then could have won the game for his side after taking advantage of an awkward bounce that Yeardley was unable to deal with but his attempted lob from range found only the side netting.
With the game headed for a draw, Bassett sent their captain up to add an extra aerial threat after winning a throw deep in the Banbury half. Mills sent a long ball into a crowded box and the ball took a bounce off a visiting defender, falling perfectly for Yeardley who thrashed home the winner from twelve yards to send his goal tally into double figures (this was only his third from open play though).
Scoop's Man of the Match: Matty Bennett – caused all sorts of trouble down the right and was scorer of the first before setting up Magani with a perfectly placed ball across the box.
Scoop Rating: 6/10 – Bassett were given a stern test by their opponents and were not exactly sharp early on, the state of the pitch wasn't ever helping matters though. Bassett were caught stretched at the back at times and their opponents wasted a number of golden opportunities.
Credit: Stuart Smedley
Last modified on Monday 21st September 2020 at 11:44
M Bennett, J Magani, S Yeardley